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Grateful Dead Live at Orpheum Theatre on 1976-07-18

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Grateful Dead Live at Orpheum Theatre on 1976-07-18

Publication date 1976-07-18 (check for other copies)
Topics Live concert
Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Mississippi Half Step, Cassidy, Row Jimmy, Mama Tried, Scarlet Begonias, Looks Like Rain, Tennessee Jed, Minglewood Blues, Loser, The Music Never Stopped Might As Well, Samson & Delilah, Candyman, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication-> Let It Grow-> Drums-> Let It Grow-> Wharf Rat-> The Other One-> Saint Stephen-> Not Fade Away-> Saint Stephen-> The Wheel-> The Other One-> Stella Blue, Sugar Magnolia, E: Johnny B. Goode


SBD > ??? > CDR > CDR > SHN (via EAC and mkwACT); via M. Ferguson;
no digiflaws, some amplifier hum, "dead air" spaces cut


Reviewer: c-freedom - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 23, 2017
Subject: Last fair deal in the town..
Wow, great sound and plenty of positive reviews!
"Iv'e got no chance of losing this time"
This entire Orpheum run is mighty sweet.
To me listening to shows from 76 has been a pleasure.
There seems to be a soundboard for almost every night with more or less pristine Grateful Dead.
I never had or listened to much from 76 back in the day so this has been a real eye opener.
If you like this then listen to the previous night as well 7/17/76 which is almost as cool but seems to get much less traffic.
Note: The Second Set of this show with encore is 18 songs! it is like a GD smorgasbord.
Let it Grow>Wharf Rat transition = noteworthy!
Wharf Rat>Other1 (can tell they are in the groove)
That drop into St. Stephen almost sounded like the intro to Stella Blue?
This is one of those nights when somebody asks you after the show:
What did they play?
Best answer= EVERYTHING!!
they get all of Weir's lyrics for TOO tonight.

Confucius says: Deadhead who wasn't into last ballad of the evening from Garcia, going back to the motel ALONE.
Reviewer: Dandysan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 19, 2016
Subject: Love it!
I listen to great show's like this one with my children. They never saw the Grateful Dead live but through Archive they can enjoy the music with me. Thanks for Sharing!
Reviewer: scottfirst - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 22, 2016
Subject: Stella Blue Drips Like Honey
I first heard this Stella Blue in the early 80s from my friend Frank's tape collection. Lost it for years until Archive. So please listen to the 2nd lead guitar pass and you will be happy. This is among the 3 best guitar passes from JG you will ever hear.
Reviewer: Gooseberry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 29, 2015
Subject: There are shows just as good, but none better
A positively amazing second set, but the Stella Blue is so magnificent and soulful it eclipses everything that preceded it. I bet there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Reviewer: voxrock - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 1, 2015
Subject: Always a hoot
I will never forget this show. The police decided to roust a friend and me for sitting in his 1940 Mercury back in 1978. Of course we had some contraband and while these cops were searching the car they found a cassette player and pushed play. It was a tape of this show and for 20 minutes while they tore the car apart and put us teenagers in handcuffs we got to listen to the other one. Very strange indeed. Never forget a note of this show.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 19, 2014
Subject: --
What everyone below here said. This is dynamite '76 - a good one to introduce a fellow head not too acquainted with this year. Everything just clicks, and that 2nd set suite is justifiably famous. A little buzz here and there will appear in your speakers, but it doesn't matter at all. Lovely stuff.
Reviewer: purplepaste - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 21, 2014
Subject: Still Lovin' this One!
The sound quality on this is a lot better than last time. Maybe it's all in my head, though. Supplication is there 100% now. YAY! This is one that NEEDS to be heard. You can't listen to Let It Grow without Supplication first. So, best LL > Supplication and best Let It Grow. Hands down, IMO. Personally, this show doesn't start until Lazy Lightning, but when it does, it highlights each one of them SO well. It especially gives you insight into Bobby's amazing role with the rest of the boys. Donna sounds like a compliment rather than an intrusion. The rest of them are equally on fire, except Jerry who is beyond fire. Some of the licks he plays can only be described with goosebumps. No words can accurately describe the beauty of his tone and direction, and listening to all of them locked into that space is what it's all about for us. This was actually the first show I owned because I found it in my dad's box of tapes int he closet. He had taped it from the King Biscuit Flower Hour. So, maybe I have a bit of first love with show, but in my heart, I know this is one of those extra special gems. That segue into Wharf Rat... *goosebumps*
Reviewer: grinning gold - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2013
Subject: thanks to someone
I attended this show, thanks to someone - having been to the first three of the run, and having no further tickets, I took off for the High Sierra...but the thought of the ongoing party down at the Orpheum brought me back out of the mountains. standing on the street politely asking for a ticket (amidst many others offering obscene amounts of money) a decent soul gave me the ducat for exactly and only face value.
The run opened with fantastic energy and a warmth that was palpable, and ended much the same way.
Reviewer: jpotts3 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2013
Subject: One of the best sets ever?
I used to wonder how many other's had decided this is one of the most amazing shows they've heard, even out of so many epic ones to consider.
Am seeing here that I'm not alone in being melted down by some of the amazing jams between songs.

1st recording I ever heard, followed by Munich Germany 1972. No wonder I became a devoted fan- right outa the gate.

( 1st dead song i ever heard was Casey Jones-huh, what's all the fuss about i thought- nothing special.But then heard this on "King Biscuit Flower Hour" shortly after- and then I understood! )
Reviewer: GermanShepherd - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 30, 2013
Subject: Smooth Wharf Rat
One of the best Wharf Rats so far. The recording is just crystal clear. This entire run of shows has been great. I'm trying to think if there is a slower, more stoney version of St. Stephen! Wow, light one up and pass it my way!
Reviewer: sharkmanlpn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 16, 2012
Subject: 76 Rocks
5 Stars big cut in supplication can't stop 5 stars the sound is not perfect some hiss but the show makes up for that. What a show, the boys at home hangin way cool top 10 for me now. Oh yea even Donna is good this show is like a fine wine gets better with age
Reviewer: pauggroove - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 10, 2012
Subject: Unique Mix
I have noticed some interesting comments about the mix. I happen to enjoy Keith being turned up a bit. It gives the show a different feel then most. Jerry, of course sounds great and I enjoy the ability to distinguish clearly between Keith, Jerry and Bob. Great show, really enjoying my journey through '76
Reviewer: JasW - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 20, 2012
Subject: Tight show
Great show and great set list. I will agree this is one of the finest Stellas you'll ever hear. Great sound, too, but with with a couple of caveats. First, the stereo channels are flipped -- Jerry is on the right here, and Keith is on the left. The balance is tilted a little toward the right as well. With Keith higher in the mix than usual, he sticks out way over on the left.
Reviewer: Pangolin22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2011
Subject: Vast improvement on the previous night
To be honest, the first set wasn't too exciting for me (the most sluggish Tennessee Jed ever!) but that second! Once you get into that Lazy Lightning-> Supplication-> Let It Grow there's no turning back. The 2 part OO and one of the best late-era St. Stephens only add to this epic set. Five stars for the second set alone!
Reviewer: Earcrates - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 18, 2011
Subject: Absolutely Rediculous
I have this set, but I'm not sure if the lineage is the same as on this particular recording featured on this page. Mine is top notch though, so it's out there.

Reviewed simply for the "Lazy Lightning", one of my favs. Started the set there and had no idea what I was getting into.

St. Stephen is quite different from the usual ones I hear. Especially with my girl Donna coming in too early, mistake? Hardly, it just works. Perfect and without a doubt the most laid back version I ever heard.

Sugar Mag. Oh yeah.

And enough fury and excellence to rocket into the sky with an electrifying Johnny B Goode, and I don't even like that track! The energy from Sunshine Daydream refused to die.

No Dark Star or Playin in the Band, but the results of not playing those tunes really shines for the take off of that monster of a 2nd set.

Instant fav. What a great show! First show from 76 I've heard that I loved. Don't really listen to anything from after 75, as there is so much to cover just from 69-74 in itself! Obviously, I need to do my homework.

And the Samson and Delilah smokes. They would tear this old building down!

4 Stars for the Stella Blue. Why build up to such a bummer? I usually skip any big run for the inclusion of this or China Doll. So much awesome epicness leading up to such a let down. Makes ya wanna put your hands in your pocket and look down. Can't do it.
Reviewer: CosmicGeordie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 31, 2010
Subject: Unique and fantastic St. Stephen
Among the many highlights from this awesome show is one of the best “lazy” St. Stephens (slow and a little funky) from this “comeback” era for the band. This version has very melodic leads and an intro where Jerry incorporates some very playful phrasing into the classic riff lines. I’ve listened to it 100,000 times and it still makes me smile. And I remember being determined to learn it note for note when I started playing guitar. Just one of the best Stephens ever: different and less spooky, but a unique interpretation/arrangement that clearly refreshed the song for the band and gave new legs to a former concert staple that would keep it in fairly frequent rotation for at least a few more years. As discussed earlier, there’s also some real fatback from Phil throughout this show. Ohhh what I would give to have been there on this night…but alas… I was only six years old. Oh well. Thank you for this particular show as it was one of my favorite tapes from back in the day, but I only had a scratchy copy of the otherwise beautiful and rockin’ second set.
Reviewer: robertm - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 11, 2010
Subject: Donna
First of all personally my fav Dead show ever.

But my comment is about Donna , during 1976 or even 77 listen to how she takes control of "Dancing in the streets" she has full command of the lyrics & she knows it.
Reviewer: geraldusa - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 30, 2010
Subject: Play That Stella Blue
Like all the previous reviews have said, this is one of the best shows of 1976 and perhaps right up there in the all time ranking. Loser is played to perfection and the last two minutes of Stella are just about as good as Jerry ever played his guitar. It's nothing short of beautiful.
Reviewer: )€-\) H€-\) - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2009
Subject: Fantastic Concert
This is my favorite second set ever played. The music is inspired and deliberate. The first set is great, scarlet and mama tried done as well as cornell. Great show, great experimenting and execution.
Reviewer: Since 77 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2009
Subject: Unbelievably Great Show!
I think this is one of the greatest shows of any year. Probably the best of '76, though a few of the June shows compare favorably, esp. 6/17. I have come to dearly love 1976. If I were picking a favorite year... Then again, I think 6/7 is the best show of 1977. These are very subjective judgment calls; the Doc's hat is safe.
Just phenomenal playing throughout this night. There is a very unique X-factor going on here, and I can't see how anyone could give it less than 5 stars. Blissful, wonderful groove. That's my two cents.
Reviewer: TVZHOG - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2008
Subject: this does not ever get old.
still holding out for that perfect 5 star...but this one is strong.
if you like jams...this one is full of them. the guys were really on this night. every song seems to just fall into that magical improvisation. i love '76 anyway, but this one is super strong.
Reviewer: secret8476 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2008
Subject: OOOMPA~!!!!
Yeah - pretty stellar show. The whole night is solid. Outstanding performances in just about every song. Check out that Scarlet Begonias!
Reviewer: richbutnotvvealthy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2007
Subject: Awesome segue
Let It Grow-> Drums-> Let It Grow
Reviewer: gphishmon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2007
Subject: This is the real deal
A show that combines the song selection of 76 with an exploratory nature resembling 72 (albeit without the deep space), all with one of the Dead's highest energy performances ever. Amazing that this isn't a DP or vault release yet.

Parts of this show were radio broadcast, I guess, because I have a tape that has most of the second set but cuts out some key parts. The vocal part of Supplication is cut out, as is all of Not Fade Away. Set aside a few hours and listen to this from beginning to end through some high quality speakers. You'll be glad you did.
Reviewer: KentuckyMandolin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2007
Subject: this one can teach us a thing or too...
For all muscians who want to write their music "back in the groove," listen to this 76 show, as well as a number of others. you can just feel the smiles
Reviewer: RobRizzo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2006
Subject: Owlsley
Your remember correctly. I still have that record from my days as a very young boy taking the subway into the Village to see the bootleg record stores.

I am glad I stumbled on to this place. Would anyone mind sending me an email ( explaining me the recent acrimony from the band regarding this place? Thank you.
Reviewer: Xthplanet - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 27, 2006
Subject: Owlsley
I'm fairly certain I used to own a bootleg vinyl of a piece of this concert:

--Lazy Lightning-> Supplication-> Let It Grow-> Drums-> Let It Grow-> Wharf Rat-> The Other One-> the first notes of a very slow Saint Stephen---

under the name of "Owlsley's Owl" which I first heard about at Northfield Mount Hermon boarding school in the fall of '77

Reviewer: helpsontheway44 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 28, 2006
this is one of the best setlists ive ever seen...and watching DSO play it and now listening to original version, it gives you an appreciation of what DSO has accomplished in recreating the live experience
Reviewer: TJed - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 25, 2006
Subject: 7/18/76
Phenomenal show, especially 2nd set.

Recreated by DSO last night at the Nokia in NYC.

Check it out at
Reviewer: lobster12 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 14, 2006
Subject: bizzare
I went through my old GD tapes that my wife banish to the garage and pulled this gig out just 3 days ago. Fantastic as others had mentioned. I was looking for a good lazy Lightning and got one.
Reviewer: verylazylightning - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 14, 2006
Subject: Impossibly Good
This was first widely released as a King Biscuit Flour Hour show (a series of concerts by different artists that were syndicated across the country) a very short time after it was played.
What can I say? A roomful of college students zonked on 'shrooms or acid listening in the moonlight to this show time after time.
Guaranteed, I've listened to this 1,000 times
in the last 30 years -and that's a very, very
conservative estimate.

It's interesting how cogent all the reviews
below are for this show. They cover a lot of topics and point out all the highlights. Very
high-level musical critiquing.

This show also has one of the most distinctive
"signatures" of any Dead performance. It's like the only one its category.

In the interests of fair and balanced reporting,
I must disclose that I do have one friend who says
he just doesn't "get this show." Poor bastard.

If nothing else, listen to the final solo on
Stella Blue. You will never be the same.
Reviewer: jhender501 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 13, 2006
Subject: Mighy Swell, Mighty Swell
to loosely quote John Tichy, formerly of Commander Cody, this show is the honey on my biscuit and the butter on my roll..very sweet sounding show..haven't got all the way through..maybe later.. but the first set just oozes honey.

Reviewer: abilene22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2006
Subject: best of '76?
Like a dog to a bone, I keep coming back to this show. Stellar setlist and inspired playing... just doesn't get much better! The mix is uneven in spots, but wow, the performance in both sets approaches perfection. The transitions in the second set are so smooth and sweet, just candy to your ears. What a lovely preview of their '77 blowout year.
Reviewer: joshweissboston - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2006
Subject: Stella
How is it that just a few piano plinks can sound so good?

5 pionts for performance.
Reviewer: Franchi$e - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 1, 2006
Subject: End of the Rainbow
This show is like butter - like a bucket of melted butter at the end of the rainbow. Delicious.

Squeeky clean sound, inspired performances throughout. That big long seguey in the 2nd set is really entertaining stuff.

It seems like I'm only giving 4-5 star ratings for everything, but first, this band really is that great, and second, the shows I want to review are the ones I am thrilled about. So I will try in the future to review ALL the shows that I stream in during my busy working day, so I can get a more well-rounded viewpoint going.

But in the meantime, here's 5 stars and then some. What a great show.

Some folks dis the 76, but I think there is so much dinamic creativity in these performances - more subtle than the 77-78 monsters (which are also good, of course)... I really dig this era. Discoey and smooth.

(and even though we can't "own" these shows any more, I am still dang grateful to be able to stream them in and enjoy these inspired performances.)

Reviewer: Hamal - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2006
Subject: wowie zowie!
i don't even care if they brushed their teeth! i was always blown away by this one. in the top percentile of shows. nothing short of perfect: performace, segueways, set list... many years and shows have their merits. this one transcends 'em all.
Reviewer: USBlues1977 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2006
Subject: Great sound for the Orpheum!
This is a great show that reminds me type of play they exhibited right before the transition into '77. Still somewhat representative of the earlier 70's with the new sounds of higher tech sound equipment. You can hear all the bombs Lesh drops and Jerry's sound is quite crisp, while every word bob sings is easily heard. Gotta love the might as well->samson for the 2nd set opener. Let it Grow gets a big shout-out! Great show!
Reviewer: rollandfin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 1, 2006
Subject: Excellent!
It is ture, you do have to hear this one to belive it.
most amazing to me is the jam out of let it grow, but fantastic missisip, row jimmy wharf rat Music Never.. Yep strong as it gets76

email me at happy to share with good listeners.
Reviewer: skuzzlebutt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2006
Subject: Tremendous
This is a great one to put on when someone starts bad-mouthing '76. This moose stands strong against the best shows of any year, not just the post-hiatus stuff.
Reviewer: DMB311 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 24, 2006
Subject: great
this is truly one of the best performances, besides the may run of '77. as mentioned, jerry is nothing short of perfect on this evening at the orpheum
Reviewer: mgford25 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 13, 2006
Subject: 5+
This one has it all -- a great first set list with silky smooth playing, an amazing second set, and as a few others have mentioned, Jerry is seriously on. In fact, everyone is on. The sound quality is really not much of an issue. The vocals are nice and up front, similar to the Chicago show in June, and you can hear everyone clearly. There is some fluctuation and buzzing, but let's be honest, this is one of the best shows they ever played. A real monster, from start to finish. The best Row Jimmy of any year, a great 1/2 Step, a smoking Scarlet, and that's just the first set. You have to hear this one to believe it! Stream and enjoy!
Reviewer: JackStrawFromWichita - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 17, 2005
Subject: -
Reviewer: JackStrawFromWichita - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 16, 2005
Subject: Jammin
Really, can you go wrong with a segue like this:
Lazy Lightning-> Supplication-> Let It Grow-> Drums-> Let It Grow-> Wharf Rat-> The Other One-> Saint Stephen-> Not Fade Away-> Saint Stephen-> The Wheel-> The Other One-> Stella Blue ?

I mean, oh my god, so smooth and easy, they make it seem like the most natural thing in the world - gotta listen for this second set
Reviewer: fiyo fiyo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 7, 2005
Subject: very nice...
the reviewer who said jerry's voice has never been sweeter is right.... it's so melodic, it sends chills down my spine... the solos are nice, with jerry only playing the notes he has to.... and lets hear it for keith? he's setting the tempo and harmony with that beautiful piano playing?? when he was on, he was as good as anybody.... and does anyone have this downloaded? i'd love a copy of this...
Reviewer: VAJetsFan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2005
Subject: Dick's Picks Dream
If only someone could clean up the sound on this one, 'cause the jamming is unbelievable. The whole show is great, but from Lazy Lightning on is truly spectacular. Don't dis' the '76.

5 rating based solely on performance. I'd listen to this one on a normal bias, tenth gen tape out of a boombox!!
Reviewer: David Bolewski - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 21, 2005
Subject: Vintage Grateful Dead
They play so smooth. effortlessly and airy. The Lazy Lightnings/Supplication is epic.Not fade away is good too.The sound quality is pretty good as well.Certainly a candidate for a show you would turn the aliens on to. no dout...My dream is someday this show will be released by the band in pristine condition like One from the vault.
Reviewer: WRat - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 14, 2005
Subject: Lava Lamp
This show has always reminded me of a lava lamp. Seriously, bear w/me. A lava lamp's contents coalesce, bubble and ooze, right? This show's music does the same thing. Up, down, out, in, inside-out, upside-down. It swells, drips, and oozes out the loudspeakers. Like lava in a lamp.

As an example, listen to the intro to W-Rat. Or the intro to Stella. They move from one tune to the next like warm butter on a toasted bagel!

Sound Quality is a 2, like all 76s. There is a wavy quality to the volume levels at 76 shows, it gets loud and soft intermittently. The show itself is an 8, so it averages to 5.
Reviewer: boobychew - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2005
Subject: Buzzing...
great show, classic, fluid...but that buzzing especially during Wheel is killing me. 4.5 for show, 3.5 for sound = 4 overall
Reviewer: SpringersInn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 15, 2005
Subject: Beautiful Stella Blue
The Stella Blue in this show is by far the best I have ever heard. Jerry does everything perfect. His voice and guitar never sounded sweeter. It brings tears to my eyes almost every time.
As we all know,the sound is not mixed quite right on this show. That's why my overall rating is a four.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 9, 2005
Subject: 5 stars
If you're only listening to 1977 Dead, you're missing out. The Dead are not the Moody Blues playing the big hits in Las Vegas. The Dead are a dozen bands with a constantly change sound, constantly changing setlist.

The best year? I can't pick just one. Try '67, '69-'70,'72, late '73-'74, '77, and yes, 1976. All stellar, all different. (Occasional highlights in the '80's and the '90's Hornsby gigs, too, but with less frequency.)

Some of the qualities of 1976: a renewed vitality and musicality after a 20-month break from turning. Outstanding vocals all around, and arguably Donna's best year. A return to some old standards (Cosmic Charlie, St. Stephan), but reinvented. And a new, jazzy groove. Other years have other qualities, other stylistic attributes.

The slowness of '76 is overstated. The tempos are not the funeral durges of the 1980's.

This is one of the best of the many 5-star 1976 concerts. The second set of this show is epic.
Reviewer: bigboypeete - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 28, 2005
Subject: i agree
couldnt agree more with the last reviewer
Reviewer: Joe Shlobotnick - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 8, 2005
Subject: People are strange
I always find it funny to read "76 is not my favorite year, but..."

People, people, people... you DO remember why you started listening to this band, collecting their music and going their shows, right? Its because there is Nothing Like a Grateful Dead show. Arguing the merits of 76 versus some other year is like arguing whether the Grand Canyon is MORE beautiful at sunrise or sunset.

Its just plain silly.

I could argue that 77 was kinda lame in my opinion because of the lack of song selection (how could the best year ever have one measley China>Rider) and virtually identical, non-descript first sets (trust me, there is really no way to distinguish one night from the next based solely on first sets). Would I technically be right? Yes. Would I sound like a complete idiot, though? Double yes. Well, that's what people sound like when they down 76... 76 was a beautiful thread in the tapestry that was the Dead's music. Sure it sounds different than every other year, slower tempos and such, but it is precisely this variety that makes the Dead so damned special. When you hear 76, you know right away its not one of the other 29 years they played. You can't say the same for every other year. I revel in 76's uniqueness, the quality of the shows, the nice recordings, the tone of the instruments... everything. Just like all the Dead's music.

All that said, this show is amazing. If you are open-minded, like so many heads claim to be, it will easily become one of your favorites.

PS: Sorry for the length of this rant... :)
Reviewer: Patty Falafal - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2005
Subject: agree with the dr.'s prognosis
I agree with the dr. and converse...I too love this show as well...absolutely love Keith's work in stella...and the scarlet, to quote Marv Albert, "Yes, and it counts!"...this show and 6-15 at the beacon standout as my favs for the year
Reviewer: Capt. Cook - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 19, 2005
Subject: Sound issues
Boy, unreal set list, but very flat sound overall. The drums are not very clear in the cymbals and snare drums and there seems to be hot and cold patches in the tape. It's hard to explain but some songs sound louder than others, and certain instruments rise and fall in the mix. Very strange. Jerry is very much on fire! Still, not as crisp playing as you'll find a year later.
Reviewer: converse - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2005
Subject: At Last! The Whole Thing!
This is absolutely in the top 5 IMHO. For years I had only a hissy partial tape of the second set that was broadcast back in late '76 as part of the King Bisquit Flower Hour. I had a 25 year love/hate relationship with that tape. It began with Drums > Let it Grow > Wharf Rat. The long slow transition into Wharf Rat has got to be one of my all time favorite pieces of Grateful Dead music, and one that I had memorized note-for-note.
But someone at King Busquit decided that the most delicate moment of the transition was the place for a commercial break! OUCH! The other thing that they did was even worse. During the most quiet passages of Wharf Rat, and especially Stella Blue, they faded in a fake track of audience clapping, in completely inappropriate places. It was like some idiot Metallica-head engineer was sitting in a booth and saying to himself..."What's with this pretty ballad crap! I'm going to put some rock and roll energy over this with some crowd noise, just so our teeny-bopper audience doesn't fall asleep". I used to grit my teeth every time I listened to it.
But now, thanks to this wonderful site, I can listen to the whole show as it was meant to be heard. And just for record, this is the most beautiful Stella Blue ever played! The lead from Jerry and Keith's spare, delicate two-finger counterpoints never fail to send a shiver down my spine and a big smile across my face.
Reviewer: elvikingo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2005
Subject: WOW! Just look at the second set...
Lazy Lightning > Supplication > Let It Grow > Drums > Let It Grow > Wharf Rat > The Other One > St. Stephen > Not Fade Away > St. Stephen > The Wheel > The Other One > Stella Blue. NEED I SAY MORE?! The second set is basically one sick jam. Very tasty nug here. ADD THIS SHOW TO YER COLLECTION!!!
Reviewer: vogonity - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2005
Subject: Stella!
The guitar in "Stella Blue" is the most beautiful solo I have ever heard.

3 stars overall, five for "Stella."
Reviewer: Nuggets - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2005
Subject: Decent
Good show, the sound quality is not so good but it's worth a listen. Got to love 76!
Reviewer: D@yDr3amer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2004
Subject: this is why you gotta love the dead
enough about it's not '72 this is an excellent example how the Grateful Dead kept on trucking through out the years. Every band has bad years, just the Grateful Dead had a lot more, that's because they outlasted all other band. Keep on Trucking boys
Reviewer: flashbackmagic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 28, 2004
Subject: DR. your hat is safe!
Don't pass the salt and pepper to Dr. Flashback. Forget the mustard too, there will be NO hat eating here. No show in 76 was better, not even close. Not my favorite year of the dead, but this example certainly shines.
I give it a 5 only because its tops for 76, hands down.
Reviewer: auggie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 25, 2004
Subject: Not a fan of '76 but
this is one to get. I had this tape on cassette and thought it was very well played but my copy was spliced up and it had a ton of hiss. All better with this one.

My favorites here are the Scarlet, Let It Grow, and The Other One. Must have been great to see them in theaters after a year and a half break. The only knock here is those tempos are too slow in some tunes.
Reviewer: sheikyerbouti - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 19, 2004
Subject: Start to finish this is one of the best they ever played period
open with half step and this does not let up the whole show - the power of this is still palpable almost 30 years later - other one is in a class all by itself and concur with the other review that it has alot of different emotions to it - pity they did not play more like this - '76 was a fine year its just that virtually everything they played in '77 was stellar - this is arguably the best of '76 and one of the best of the 70's....
Reviewer: GrantF - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2004
Subject: the band weaves
I too have always not understood why so many avid heads overlook 1976. It takes an incomprehensible degree of composure and chemistry to play music that weaves and floats as if the band were one being, playing 6 instruments all at once. And the boys were the masters. This show is beautiful...dark...happy...and sad. Slow is good. I LOVE this show!!!
Reviewer: deadtothecore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 1, 2004
Subject: Cough Syrup
76 (and the first half of 77) is the cough syrup of music. The songs slink and slide (You can just feel Garcia moving effortlessly all over the place) into each other. This era is so easy to listen to.
This show is another must have and showcases this time period. Just a fantastic copy.
Reviewer: dr. flashback - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 13, 2004
Subject: Top 5!
If someone can show me a better show from 1976 I'll eat my hat. 1976 is not their best year, esp. in light of 1977, but this show stands out like a beacon, The second set is bascially one long non-stop jam. And what DON'T they play? All that's missing is a Dark Star. Just one amazing display of improvisational magic. The Let it Grow, St. Stephen and Other One sparkle especially. The night before is also very good, but get this one first and turn on a friend. The best show of 1976, hands down. A "preview of coming attractions" for 1977. Heavily recommended!
Dr. Flashback
Reviewer: deadinutah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 6, 2004
Subject: digital copy of long-time favorite
Came across this show first from a decent quality cassette tape of the KSAN broadcast in the late 1970s. The slow funky intro into St. Stephen is still hard wired into my brain and evokes the happy summer shows of this period. Just discovered the archive and am swimming in the excellent digital version of this classic. An excellent show to learn about the dead during 76-77. The recording quality is clear and crisp (much cleaner than my old cassette version). Thanks for sharing.
Reviewer: evilpacman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 4, 2004
Subject: Much Agreed!
I've tried turning friends on to this Magnificent display but for some reason it has yet to Stick.

Lazy Lightning > Supplication > Let It Grow > Drums > Let It Grow > Wharf Rat > The Other One > St. Stephen > Not Fade Away > St. Stephen > The Wheel > The Other One > Stella Blue

in Set II is simply splendid.

A MUST have for anybody who appreciates the GDead.....even those who might not yet understand the Groove of 1976 ; )
Reviewer: jeffsetz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2004
Subject: 1976 is underrated
I've had this show for years thanks to the KSAN-fm broadcast that was done the night of this gig and it's still one of my all time faves nearly 30 years later. Why '76 is so underrated is beyond me. Several shows stand out from this year and this is a good place to start.
Reviewer: dearchris - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2004
Subject: You need this show!
Wow... Lazy Lightning>Supplication>Let it Grow>Drums>Let it Grow>Wharf Rat>The Other One>St. Stephen>NFA>St. Stephen>The Wheel>The Other One>Stella Blue. Jammin' and smooth as hell, and good sound to boot... This has been one of my favorites for years. For me, this is one of the proverbial "desert island" shows for certain.
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